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World Press Photo Exhibit Returns to USC

Young Lebanese drive through a devastated Beirut neighborhood in the World Press Photo of the Year.

Photo/Spencer Platt, USA, Getty Images

World Press Photo, the exhibition featuring winning images from the world’s largest and most prestigious press photography contest, returns to the USC Annenberg School for Communication this month.

The exhibition features 200 award-winning images from the 50th annual World Press Photo competition, drawn from nearly 80,000 entries submitted by more than 4,000 photographers. USC Annenberg is one of only three U.S. locations to host the traveling exhibition. The school also was selected as a site for the past three exhibitions.

The exhibit, which runs Jan. 14-Feb. 2 in the East Lobby of the USC Annenberg School for Communication, is free and open to the public. The opening reception will be held on Jan. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

“The images from World Press Photo illustrate and document the year’s most important events,” said Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School of Communication. “Through this exhibition, we have the opportunity to share these works with the greater Los Angeles community, elevating the public discourse on some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“USC Annenberg is honored to host the World Press Photo exhibition again this year,” said USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III. “Photography is a powerful medium for communication. These images from around the world help inform and build understanding across geographic, political and cultural divides.”

The independent, international World Press Photo jury selected a color image by U.S. photographer Spencer Platt of Getty Images as World Press Photo of the Year.

The photograph shows a group of young Lebanese people driving through a South Beirut neighborhood devastated by the Israeli bombings. The image was taken on Aug. 15, 2006, the first day of the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes.

World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally described the winning image: “It’s a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious.”

Platt, along with other winning photographers, will be featured at a special event to discuss their individual photographs and their profession. “Behind the Lens: Winners of World Press Photo ’07” will be held Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. in Annenberg Auditorium. A reception and book signing with the photographers follows the discussion. The event will be sponsored by Getty Images.

“This important exhibition gives USC Annenberg a great opportunity to foster discussion about the profession and craft of photojournalism, as well as how we cover the events of our times,” said Michael Parks, director of the School of Journalism.

The exhibition will be seen by more than two million people in 90 venues in 40 countries around the world. All prize-winning images are exhibited without any form of censorship.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT. World Press Photo at USC Annenberg is supported by Getty Images and the Los Angeles Times.

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World Press Photo Exhibit Returns to USC

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